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Infectious Diseases

Updated 23 March 2020

Coronavirus morning update: SA cases now 274, while UK PM sounds alarm - 'we're weeks behind Italy'

Your latest coronavirus news: SA cases now total 274; ACDP leader to be tested; and the UK prime minister warns that the situation there could get as bad as in Italy.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN SA

Cases update: 

The latest number of confirmed cases is 274, after 34 new cases on Sunday.

The province with the most cases is Gauteng with 132 confirmed cases.

READ MORE |All the confirmed cases of coronavirus in SA

Latest news:

President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed the news that ACDP leader Reverend Kenneth Meshoe has undergone a coronavirus test.

Meshoe's test came after he attended a religious gathering in Bloemfontein recently attended by five international guests who later tested positive for the virus.

The reverend announced on Twitter on Sunday that he had been tested.

"Even though I have no symptoms of Covid-19, I decided to be tested this afternoon [Sunday]. The officials that came were very professional & respectful.

"After the testing, one of them said: 'You don't look like you have the virus, you look strong & healthy for your age'," the tweet read.

The Bloemfontein church event, which was attended by approximately 200 people, took place before the prohibition of public gatherings of more than 100 people.

READ MORE | ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe undergoes Covid-19 test after Bloem religious event

The health department has dismissed claims that Health Minister Zweli Mkhize had barred landlords from collecting rent money from their tenants for the next 90 days.

The letter, with the department's letterhead, made the rounds on social media.

It claimed that the health minister had gazetted the regulations to deal with the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The letter stated that anyone who did not adhere to the set regulations was guilty of an offence.

READ MORE | 'Fake news': Department rubbishes letter claiming landlords can't collect rent from tenants

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE REST OF THE WORLD 

Cases update:

For the latest global data, follow this interactive map from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.

Positive cases worldwide are nearly 340 000, while deaths are more than 14 700.

Three countries, China, Italy, and the United states have more than 30 000 cases, with Spain not far behind.

Italy as the most deaths, with nearly 5 500.

READ MORE | All the confirmed cases worldwide

Latest news:

The United Kingdom has as little as two weeks to prevent its Coronavirus outbreak reaching the depths of the crisis currently seen in Italy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned.

"The numbers are very stark, and they are accelerating. We are only a matter of weeks - two or three - behind Italy," Johnson said on Saturday.

Italy on Saturday recorded almost 800 deaths from the coronavirus in just one day and has overtaken China as the worst affected nation in the world.

Harrowing videos from the country's hospitals show the scale of the crisis that could soon be approaching Britain.

"The Italian death toll is already in the thousands and climbing," Johnson said.

READ MORE | The UK has just two weeks to stop a coronavirus outbreak as bad as Italy

France on Sunday reported its first death of a hospital doctor from coronavirus.

Health Minister Olivier Veran said that as far as he knew the man who died on Saturday, he was the "first hospital doctor to be hit".

The accident and emergency practitioner worked at a hospital in Compiegne, north of Paris, AFP was able to confirm.

Veran refused to give any more information about the victim, saying details were being withheld for medical reasons and to respect the wishes of the doctor's family.

READ MORE | First doctor in France dies from coronavirus

HEALTH TIPS (as recommended by the NICD and WHO)

The criteria for a suspected case:

A person with acute respiratory illness with the sudden onset of at least one of the following symptoms: cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or fever [≥ 38°C (measured) or history of fever (subjective)] irrespective of admission status 

AND

If the PUI, in the 14 days prior to experiencing symptoms, met at least one of the following epidemiological criteria:

Was in close CONTACT with a CONFIRMED or PROBABLE case of coronavirus infection;

OR

If the person has  a history of travel to areas with local transmission of the virus;

OR

Worked in, or attended a health care facility where patients with coronavirus infections were being treated;

OR

Admitted with severe pneumonia of unknown causes

Basic protective measures:

• Avoid contact with people who have respiratory infections 

• Maintain social distancing – stay at least one metre away from somebody who is coughing or sneezing

• Practise frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as your hands touch many surfaces and could potentially transfer the virus

• Practise respiaratory hygiene – cover your mouth with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Remember to dispose the tissue immediately after use.

READ MORE: Coronavirus 101 

Image credit: Getty Images